Jealousy or Envy?

“After Satan’s rebellion, Satan was motivated more by his envy of God than his jealousy of God: true or false?”

John Milton wrote Paradise Lost in 1674. This work is made up of two books. It is written in a poetical style, much like Greek epics. In several ways, Milton was copying the Greek epic poems.

Among other things that make this like a Greek epic is that Milton “invokes” the Holy Ghost in the beginning of the poem, like a Greek writer would invoke a Muse.

Also, what makes Milton’s Paradise Lost so unique is that he mixed the Biblical story of Satan’s rebellion and fall with Greek religion, and gods and religious traditions from other cultures to make one epic poem. This makes Milton’s account unlike any other. But the main theme remains the same as the Bible’s: Satan rebelled against God and was cast out of Heaven.

Many times envy and jealousy are confused. In fact, I also thought that they were practically synonyms, until I researched it. Jealousy is an emotion caused by a fear to lose something. This is typical in friendships. For example: Sara was jealous of Nanette’s popularity. Sara is jealous because she is afraid to lose Nanette’s friendship to new friends. Envy is the emotion that occurs when you desire something someone else has. So, if your neighbor buys a classic car and parks it by his house you become envious because he has something you want. So saying you’re jealous of him doesn’t work. You are envious.

Was Satan motivated by envy or jealousy after his rebellion? Envy is definitely what motivated Satan after his rebellion. Satan was not afraid of losing something, but he was envious of God. This is what drove Satan, in Milton’s poem, to rebel against God and to eventually say, It is better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven (the most famous line in the poem). I would also say that hatred played a part in Satan’s deeds after his rebellion. He envied God so much that it became a hatred for anything pertaining to God.

In Milton’s poem, it is definitely envy, rather than jealousy, that motivates and drives Satan.

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